One of our Disney experts shares her Disney tips and guide to planning.
When is the best time to visit a Disney park?
If you have to go in the summer, the last 2 weeks of August are generally less busy than the rest of the summer as a lot of American kids go back to school in August. If you aren’t restricted to summer, January and February can be quieter but the parks are busy year round these days so long lines can happen anytime.
What are the benefits of visiting Disneyland and what are the benefits of visiting Walt Disney World? How many days would you allocate to each park?
Disneyland is a lot smaller and there’s just 2 Disney Parks (Disneyland and California Adventure) plus Downtown Disney. This makes it much easier to navigate as the parks are just across the plaza from one another and everything is within walking distance so it’s ideal for a short visit, 3 to 5 days will suffice.
Walt Disney World is comprised of 4 major theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios) as well as 2 water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon), Disney’s Wide World of Sports, and Disney Springs! They are connected by busses, boats, monorail, and coming in 2019 – a gondola! With this many parks and attractions, you want to make sure you have at least 7 days to give yourself enough time to see and do everything.
What is your top advice for planning a Disney vacation?
Decide what is most important to you. Is it character dining with the kids? Culinary treats or experiences you won’t find elsewhere? The parks themselves? Which rides are a “must” for you? Once you’ve determined what’s important, discuss this with your Travel Specialist so they can match you with the right hotels, passes, and add-ons.
What hotels would you recommend for your Disney vacation?
For Disneyland, the Howard Johnson has a great water playground and it is close to Disneyland making it an ideal family choice. For something truly special, the Grand California is attached to California Adventure with an exclusive guest entrance and is luxury the way only Disney does luxury. There is also the classic and iconic Disneyland hotel and the more budget friendly Paradise Pier.
In Walt Disney World, there’s a HUGE range of onsite resorts with really neat themes as well as lots of vacation rentals for larger family groups. You’ll definitely want to talk to your Travel Specialist about the right accommodation for your budget and family.
Any tips for first timers? And tips for repeat visitors?
Make sure you look into how the various fast passes work. Disneyland has both standard Fast Pass and Max Pass so you’ll need to decide what’s right for your family. Walt Disney World also has a really cool MagicBand system that you can use for everything from your park ticket to your room key and it’s a simple watch band!
Get to the park early and take advantage of extra magic hours (morning and evening) when and if you can. This is usually dependent on ticket and/or accommodation booked and the schedule varies as to what will be open for the extra hours.
There’s lots of great blogs outlining how to make the most of your stay and minimize wait times. There’s also apps for both parks (“My Disney Experience” for Walt Disney World and “Disneyland” for Disneyland) that you should download before you leave.
What are the benefits of booking your Disney vacation with a Uniglobe Travel agent?
We are one stop shopping! You can get your flights, hotel, transfers or car rental, all your theme park passes and insurance with one call. We provide various options and lots of tidbits and often hear first-hand from suppliers or previous clients what is good and what is not!